December 25, 2017 by kshearon12

“O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today”

Merry Christmas from a little white ship off the coast of Douala, Cameroon.  It has been a busy holiday season for both work and play and I am thankful for a few days off to celebrate with my ship family the birth of our Savior.  I was reflecting today that it is hard to celebrate the birth of Jesus without also remembering that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for us all.  Big, small, in the limelight, behind the scenes; he saved every one of us.  He became a humble baby fully knowing what the future would hold.  He left God’s presence to do this for us!  This totally blows my mind!  So today while I was enjoying a delicious feast, watching Christmas movies and eating too many cookies I was full of gratitude.

Gratitude for a God who would send his son as a baby for us

Gratitude to celebrate this day with the people of Cameroon and on the Africa Mercy

Gratitude to all of you who have spoken into my life, supported me and prayed for me over the years

So I wish you a very merry Christmas full of loved ones and joy.  Most of all remember the one we celebrate today and the sacrifices he made for each and every one of us with gratitude.

“We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel”

-O Little Town of Bethlehem

No blog post is complete without some photos.  Here are a few from our wonderful communications team (a few are my own) of our patients and some of the Christmas traditions the ship has.

Our patients looking pretty festive! Also a ward favorite: hand bells! (top left)

Top left going down:  The ship decorated for Christmas and yes that is our very own Starbucks cafe.  It is the only Starbucks I have been to that offers lattes for only a dollar!  Starbucks is one of Mercy Ships’ corporate donors and provides all the necessary fixings for specialty coffees.  Continuing down: Santa Lucia tradition from our Scandinavian crew, carols on the dock, an Aussie/Kiwi favorite, my cabin all decorated for Christmas.

Top Right: Christmas Eve the tradition on the ship is to put one of your shoes out and elves come throughout the night and fill them up!  It is a fun way to bless those around you!  And last but not least Christmas lunch.  Our galley and dining room teams did a wonderful job of blessing us with a delicious meal in a wonderfully decorated dining room.  What a treat!


One thought on “Gratitude

  1. Diane Nast says:

    Merry Christmas from the Nast family — it’s a chilly day here in MN, as you probably know from chatting with your family. We are grateful for the work you and your shipmates do, grateful we have the opportunity to support you in it. Continued blessings to you!

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This is my personal blog. I am serving with the organization Mercy Ships but the views, thoughts and opinions here are my own. For more information from the official Mercy Ships site please go here:



Sending mail to Africa can be a challenge. Here are a few ways to contact me while I am away:


Crew Mail: Letters, cards and other flat things

Kathy Shearon — Hospital
M/V Africa Mercy — Crew Mail
P.O. Box 2020
Lindale, TX 75771

Container: packages of any kind, please note these will take up to 2-3 months to arrive to the ship

Kathy Shearon — Hospital
M/V Africa Mercy — For Container
P.O. Box 2020
Lindale, TX 75771


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